TGIF at Lynchburg – Badass Style

Lynchburg June 2015

Friday nights are usually pretty difficult to draw in a crowd of college-aged kids to Students Fight Back. And let’s be honest: who can blame them? Self-protection is a hard enough sale, especially when competing with Friday night beer specials. Yet, take a look at the picture seen here. Look at this beautiful, FULL auditorium room at Lynchburg College. They are KILLING IT, with a diverse room of women and men being total badasses.

We seriously had so much fun. The crowd was uber engaged, played like the latest Marvel superheroes, looking out for each other, and pumped to learn some new moves. I think one of my favorite moments was after I taught the “knee to the face” move in the Badass Ballet. My volunteer creeper, who usually has little-to-no idea what he has signed up for, looks at me with dead serious face and says “Man! That would really hurt.” Why yes, fake creeper, it would. I shared with the audience and reminded them that we are learning these moves so creepers don’t mess with us. These aren’t moves I want you to use against your roommate after he eats all your peanut butter. These are skills to defend yourself. Protect yourself. To save your life.

I love joshing around with all the peeps I meet. It’s definitely one of the favorite parts of my job, to teach self defense and have a crowd roaring like Lynchburg. But I also love knowing the GFB team is traveling around the country leaving college students with tools to literally save their life.

Damn. It’s a day well lived when you can say that.

Thank you so much Lynchburg for being such rock stars and making it a priority to lead empowered and safe lives, even when that means choosing SFB over your favorite watering-hole on Friday nights. It was an honor to thrown down with you all. Can’t wait till next time!

Love and Light,
GFB Bree

Students Fight Back at Lyndon State College

Lyndon State College 11.13.14

Students Fight Back made it’s way up to Vermont to visit the peeps at Lyndon State College. It was the first legit snow fall of the winter season, but that didn’t stop these badasses from throwing down. This small but mighty crowd got the conversation rolling about living a fearless life by being your own best protector, which I’m sure will only continue amongst their peers. Thank you Lyndon State for taking the steps to be proactive and make your campus a safer and stronger! Till next time..

Light and Love,
GFB Bree

The Safety Godmothers: The ABCs of Awareness, Boundaries and Confidence for Teens

We are so excited to introduce you to Ellen Snortland and Lisa Gaeta’s new book, The Safety Godmothers: The ABCs of Awareness, Boundaries and Confidence for Teens – released this week!

Ellen is the author of Beauty Bites Beast, a GFB fave read, and Lisa Gaeta is the founder and CEO of IMPACT Personal Safety of Southern California, which offers full contact adrenaline based self-defense courses that all of our Girls Fight Back presenters have taken (and kicked ass in)!  The book features 20 real life success stories in which teens employed the verbal and/or physical self-defense methods we talk about in our presentations and proved victorious in being their own best protectors!  Check it out here.

The Safety Godmothers book cover

Making Self-Defense Fun

Lately I’ve been talking to women’s safety instructors about low class attendance for a skill that can save a person’s life.  It’s a common frustration among most self-defense instructors, even those who are internationally known, when it comes to marketing safety and self-defense education to everyday women.  Despite the excellent education that so many instructors offer, in many cases these classes are duds, with only a few people in attendance.

I believe there are many reasons for this, one of the biggies being that women are flat-out SCARED of something bad happening to them…and consequently are afraid of confronting that possible reality in a self-defense class.  As a result, many class attendees who actually show up have put off taking a class for years, are nervous to be there, recently survived an attack or “close call” or are forced to attend. (Often the case with moms making their daughters go…while ironically, those same moms often never take a class themselves.)  This can be a tough crowd in regards to helping them relax, opening their minds and filling their brains and bodies with new ideas of what they are capable of.

This begs the question…what if we got this education to women in other ways, with less pressure?  What if we made self-defense classes like swim lessons?  The lessons are fun, but the goal is teaching young people to not drown. (Scary outcome, fun process learning to avoid it.)  What if we looked at models like Jazzercize?  It was created after Judy Sheppard Missett saw the high turnover rate of dance classes, so she threw in a fitness component and some crazy humor.  The idea? Have fun while getting fit.  Why is fun so taboo when it comes to self-defense?  Is it possible for the education to be even MORE effective if people are relaxed while they hear our message of safety?

When people are laughing, they are listening.  And when they are listening, they’re learning.  And when they are learning, they become empowered.  And that’s when change happens.

I’d like to pose this question to all women: What would make the idea of taking a self-defense class or martial arts less scary to you?  A clean, pretty studio? Women only?  More “friendly” marketing materials?  Or shouldn’t self-defense be fun at all?  Please comment…